Summary Of There Will Come Soft Rains By Stephen Vincent Benet

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“By the Waters of Babylon,” by Stephen Vincent Benet and “There Will Come Soft Rains,” by Ray Bradbury are two short stories in which a similar message is spoken to the reader. Each author employs a secondary text to help convey his message, Benet using Psalm 137 from The Bible and Bradbury using Sara Teasdale’s poem, “There Will Come Soft Rains”. Each secondary text provides another look into the moral the author is trying to relay to his audience.
Stephen Vincent Benet’s short story entitled “By the Waters of Babylon,” takes place in a post-apocalyptic society, where the ruins of the human world are known as the Dead Places, and only a select few venture into them, as it is forbidden. The protagonist of the story, John, journeys to the Dead Places to learn more about the mysteries surrounding them. During his journey, John realizes that the “Gods” were only humans, and the cause of their demise was that they “ate knowledge too fast,” (586). By saying this, Benet means that the humans acquired too much knowledge in a short amount of time, and were therefore unable to use it wisely. The story hints at a
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In Benet’s secondary text, Psalm 137, the exiles mentioned only realize what they have after it is taken from them. “Happy is the one who seizes your infants/and dashes them against the rocks.”(23/24) the Psalm reads. This indicates that the exiles were too caught up in their happiness and success to see their end coming, which is what also happens to the ‘Gods’ in the short story by Benet. In Sara Teasdale’s poem, “There Will Come Soft Rains”, she writes, “Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,/ If mankind perished utterly;,” (10/11), meaning the world will not miss the humans after they have all been destroyed by their own doing, and everything will carry on in peaceful bliss without the pests. Their destruction would come from the wars that Bradbury warned against in his

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